How to Endorse a Check: A Step-By-Step Guide

It is always recommended to have a back to the check to provide additional security and validity. The third party refers to someone else that you wish to endorse the check to. Call and ask your check cashing place ahead of time to ask if they accept third-party checks and what other policies they might have around third-party checks.

Since 2011, millions of people have used Remitly to send money with peace of mind. Visit the homepage, download our app, or check out our Help Center to get started. You may run into this issue when you and your partner receive a paper check from the IRS or another government agency. There are several ways to endorse a check, and how you endorse a check depends on what you want done with the money and how the check needs to be filled out. You usually need to sign your name, but you may want to add other information depending on what you want to do with the check.

  • That way you’ll be better at protecting yourself against check fraud.
  • In other words, if it ends up in the wrong hands, the check can only be deposited into a bank account, such as a checking account, preventing it from being directly cashed.
  • Some banks require extra work with mobile check deposits, which means adding “For Mobile Deposit To [Bank Name]” or something else to your endorsement.
  • Ironic as it may sound, but the process is referred to as blank endorsement primarily because there are no specific or additional instruction as well as limitations applied on the bank check.

A clear and complete endorsement reduces the risk of disputes and misunderstandings. Especially when dealing with endorsements that involve conditions or specific instructions, clarity is important. Depositing through mobile is as simple as taking a photo of the front and back of your check, and then the pending deposit will show up in your account, assuming you’re authorized to make the deposit.

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In addition to personal hassles (delayed or rejected payments, misdirected fund transfers, the need to re-write a check), erroneous check endorsements can have legal implications. Though not considered legal tender, checks are a form of negotiable instruments that serve as a promise to transfer money from one party (remitter) to another (payee). Misspelled names or missing information in a restrictive or special endorsement can lead to delays in check processing. In some cases, banks might refuse to accept checks with incorrect endorsements. This type of endorsement sets out specific conditions, on the back of the check, for the payment of the check. A blank endorsement is considered to be risky because the endorser is not restricting the check (or other negotiable instrument).

This endorsement approach is the most secure because it instructs your bank that funds should only be sent to the account you’ve specified. Funds can’t be given out as cash or deposited into any other account. But the person who wrote you the check will see your bank account number if they receive a copy of the canceled check from their bank. Some banks and credit unions allow you to deposit checks at an ATM.

  • Misplacement or theft of endorsed checks can lead to financial loss.
  • And you can make life easier for them by writing “John OR Jane Smith” if you’re making out a check for a couple.
  • If that signature is missing, then the check receiver won’t be able to cash or deposit that check.
  • Maintaining a consistent signature across all financial dealings smoothens transactions and minimizes the risk of discrepancies.

Whether you’re just endorsing the check, adding protections, or signing it over to a third party, this is your last stop. Coordinate with the person to find out which bank the deposit will go into. The bank might require you to go with the payee, to assure the bank that there’s nothing suspicious about your transaction. Before we dive into some tips for endorsing checks, it’s important to understand what each section of a check represents. When you hand the bank a check for deposit, you’re giving consent to have those funds put into your account.

Be sure to write the name exactly as it appears on the “pay to the order of” line. If someone pays you with a check and you want to hand that check over to a third person for a payment that you owe them, then you can do this with an endorsement. Julia Kagan is a financial/consumer journalist and former senior editor, personal finance, of Investopedia. A financial professional will offer guidance based on the information provided and offer a no-obligation call to better understand your situation. Our team of reviewers are established professionals with decades of experience in areas of personal finance and hold many advanced degrees and certifications.

Also, to help protect yourself further from check fraud, wait till you’re at the bank to endorse the check, or if you do a mobile deposit–deposit it right away. This is important to keep in mind because if you lose the check after you endorse it, someone can steal the check and alter the endorsement. Banks and credit unions regularly accept unendorsed checks and assume that no problems will arise. Be aware that some banks do not allow this type of endorsement because the technique is sometimes used for theft and fraud. Check with all banks involved before you try—both the checkwriter’s bank and the final bank where the check will be deposited. While it might take a little more time than a simple signature, a restrictive endorsement can save a lot of potential trouble down the line by minimizing the risk of unauthorized transactions.

What is Endorsing a Check?

If a check is made out to a business, the endorsement should reflect the business name. Typically, a representative of the business writes the business name, their title and then signs, confirming the deposit into the business account. There are a few different types of endorsements, which serve specific purposes. Here’s a breakdown of each and how you can guarantee your check is processed correctly and securely. This means if the date is miswritten, or it appears as though the check is more than six months old, the recipient cannot cash it.

Rules and Legal Implications

Errors in the payee’s name will also prevent you from cashing the check. If your name isn’t spelled properly on the payee line, the bank may still allow you to cash or deposit it if you endorse it properly. Typically, the right approach is to first sign your name with the incorrect spelling on the back and then sign it again with the actual spelling on the second line. The information in this document was developed with reasonable care and attention.

Conditional endorsement

As the name suggests, there is a particular condition that must be met before the bank check can be cashed or deposited by the recipient. This type of endorsement is rarely recognized by payee banks for the simple reason that they do not have a way of verifying whether the condition has been satisfied. However, it still remains as a valid option for checking law firm bookkeeping 101 account holders. Normally, special or full endorsement is resorted to when the payee intends to give the bank check to a person who is not named by the remitter. In terms of options for endorsing checks, the payee should first endorse the bank check and then legibly write “Pay to the order of” followed by the name of the actual recipient of the bank check.

Step 1 of 3

Knowing how to endorse a check is part of personal finance management. Use our guide to review all the endorsement types, and endorse your next check with confidence. Use a fine-tip ballpoint pen and stay away from fountain pens or pencils. Read the fine print in your financial institution’s service agreement before you open a bank account.

We follow strict ethical journalism practices, which includes presenting unbiased information and citing reliable, attributed resources. This team of experts helps Finance Strategists maintain the highest level of accuracy and professionalism possible. At Finance Strategists, we partner with financial experts to ensure the accuracy of our financial content. It’s advisable to verify the authenticity of the payee’s identity by comparing identification documents or conducting online searches if necessary. You’re trying to get the most value out of the money you spend, so you can help your business grow. Bankrate follows a strict
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